Ruby was struttin’ down the left field line, waving at the stands, the empty stands, chin up, pigtails bouncing. Ruby, in her royal blue jersey, number 4, big white letters, RUBY, walking down the line with her team and the dozens of other Little League and T-ball squads.

Ruby, seven or eight years old, beaming, smiling, hands up to the stands where she was seeing fans cheering for her and her team, the stands that were empty this afternoon.

No matter to Ruby, who was waving anyway, getting ready for that home run she’s going to hit. Land on the plate with both feet, hands out, looking up at that crowd cheering for her.

Ruby, tiny Ruby, looking for somebody.

I saw her. I waved. Her eyes were way above mine, searching the stands. I held my hand out. Then she saw me, pointed at me with two fingers, like Barry Bonds coming down the line to the plate after number six hundred. Ruby, pointing at me like she knew how to do it all along. Nobody else around, just me and her. Ruby’s eyes bright and brown and the jersey crisp and smooth and deep blue. Ruby, moving on down the left field line waving at a crowd only she could see. It was all hers this afternoon.

And the home run she hit is going, still going, still going, way, way up there. It'll never come down.

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